Many craptastic things exist in pop culture; however a good meme isn’t one of them. I don’t have a cat, nor would I ever, but I have to admit, after a bad day, just a few minutes on CHEEZburger Cats can help me unwind and clear away the nasties. It’s my therapy and one that can spread an infectious smile when shared with the right person.
I have several people in my life that appreciate my meme philosophy but my favorite is a dear friend and neighbor who loves memes but has no desire to create them. Day or night I could get a text from her with a meme request:
And in just a minute or two . . . ta da!
My memes became serious medicine this past year when my friend discovered that she had breast cancer, three tumors, in fact. She discovered her illness early, thank goodness, in Stage 1. Tragically, she had gone for a mammogram early, prompted by the news that her younger sister had been just been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. When she confided this news, my first reaction was stunned silence then I literally said, “I wish I knew what to do to help.” My friend’s response was a simple shake of the head and shrugged shoulders. It’s a helpless feeling when finding out a loved one is ill. You know you should gear up to be a support system but don’t have a clue how. So, I gave her a hug and simply listened, while my brain clicked away trying to process the news and what I could do to make her cancer-fighting journey bearable. A couple of days later it hit me. One thing I could try to do for my friend is provide a daily smile, be it political, chick-related, just silly, or practical.
As she was preparing for phase one of treatment, a complete mastectomy, her oldest son decided to move home for his sophomore year of college and brought a friend, his bird puppy named Knox. Too stressed to complain, my friend, who swore she’d never have a dog, found him to be a good distraction and the bane of her existence simultaneously. Memes were frequently needed as the puppy quickly transitioned to the Tasmanian Devil he currently is.
Moving on to phase two – chemotherapy came during a contentious presidential primary. Once the worst was over, she began responding to my daily memes with ones of her own – a good sign she at least felt well enough to look at her Facebook feed:
I still don’t know which one to pick . . .
Phase three – reconstruction surgery – was nerve-racking, knowing multiple surgeries were to come. More downtime, limited mobility, and overall feeling like hell. The first one was scheduled a month before the election. Surprisingly, I discovered her memes were therapy for me too, especially when I would get one that made me smile despite all I imagined she was going through.
Seriously . . . when you can joke about death after fighting cancer and losing a sister to the disease along the way while poking fun at the Democrat party, it’s a sunny day. And a good Huma and Weiner meme, well that is always priceless.
Meme therapy . . . even on the darkest days . . . can bring serious happiness.